Storytelling

Six Ways to Add Novelty to Your Story

Mythcreants dwells a lot on ANTS, the four effects that make stories engaging. But while we’ve devoted whole articles to specific aspects of attachment, tension, and satisfaction, novelty hasn’t gotten as much time in the limelight. The problem is that anything in the story can … read more »

Q&A

How Do I Establish a Mentor Before They Die?

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Dear Oren/Chris, I’m an amateur fantasy writer and a rising college freshman working on the second draft of a high fantasy novel. Some context for the question: 1. The main character lives on a different continent than the magical school she ends up going to, … read more »

Worldbuilding

How Do Cannons Affect Your Naval Combat?

Recently, I went over the naval tactics your characters might use in a world without gunpowder. This raises the natural question, what happens when gunpowder is introduced? As you might imagine, the answer is complicated. Gunpowder isn’t a single toggle switch. There are hundreds, possibly … read more »

Analysis

Seven Stories With Contrived Character Conflict

Conflict between characters is a vital tool of storytelling, but it can also be tricky, especially when both characters are on Team Good. Authors often have difficulty constructing conflicts where neither character is obviously at fault, or they have difficulty dealing with the implications when … read more »

Q&A

Can I Rehabilitate the Trope of East Meets West?

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One of the lasting tropes from 20th-century pulp fiction is of the city where “East meets West,” places like Shanghai and Hong Kong. There’s a romanticism to that idea of a wealthy, cosmopolitan, dangerous city where the rules aren’t quite what you’d expect—but obviously all … read more »